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Fire destroys 155-year-old farmhouse, firefighter injured



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February 10, 2010 - By David Fleet

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Brandon Twp.-A fire ripped though a 155-year-old farmhouse on the afternoon of Feb. 5 in the 2000 block of Perry Lake Road. Brandon Fire Department, along with Groveland, Independence and Oxford township firefighters responded to the blaze. A neighbor called 9-1-1, and when firefighters arrived the house was engulfed in flames. The home was unoccupied by people at the time of the fire; however, four curly-coated retrievers in the home at the time of the fire died. Two cats also died in the home, said Alison Miller, 28, who grew up in the house owned by her father, Scott Miller.

"We had the dogs in cages so there was not much they could do," she said. "There were antiques in the home, too. My folks had renovated the home over the past few years."

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Brandon Fire Chief David Kwapis said crews arrived at the blaze at 5:08 p.m.

"It's been a long time since we had a fire like this one," said Kwapis. "Upon arrival, the first floor was gone, there was heavy smoke and flames. It had been burning about an hour before we got there. This home was old and has balloon-style construction. When the fire gets in the frame it goes all the way from the basement to the attic."

Utilizing a dry well, Kwapis said that water for the fire was pumped from a nearby pond.

One firefighter received minor injuries when her air mask stuck to her face due to the freezing temperature.

"The CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) team was called to the fire and did an outstanding job," said Kwapis. "They provided a much-needed boost to the fire crews that were battling the blaze."

The cause of the fire remains unknown.

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